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Review: Flying to the Light by Elyse Salpeter

It sounds clichéd; but a well written piece of fiction can transport you into a world you couldn’t imagine, and provide you with a new appreciation and understanding of cultures, people and beliefs that are foreign to you.  When a book can transform your reactions and willingness to see others for their similarities and not their differences, people can start to lose the fears that engender discrimination.  It’s my belief, and in the broad range of books I have read, it has always held true.  Today’s offering has a central character that happens to be deaf, which is one of those characteristics that are underutilized in fiction in this way. I am thrilled to present Flying to the Light by Elyse Salpeter, and I think this is one of those books that will excite readers of all ages.

Title:  Flying to the Light
Author:  Elyse Salpeter
Format:  Paperback or eBook
Publisher: Cool Well Press
Pages:  248
ISBN:   978-1618770233
Source:   Author for purpose of honest review
Genre:  YA Paranormal, YA Fantasy, Suspense
Stars:  5
Available now!

About the book:  How far can you run, until you just can’t run anymore? Seventeen year old Michael Anderson and his kid brother, Danny, find themselves in mortal danger after their parents are kidnapped. Michael discovers Danny has a special gift—he knows what happens after a person dies—and now others want to know too. The brothers must outwit and outrun Samuel Herrington, a lethal biophysicist, the FBI, and even fellow Americans in a harrowing cross-country chase, because whoever gets to Danny first will have the power to rule the world.

My ReviewI was contacted by the author and offered a copy of the book for honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and no guarantees were made for positive review.  Don’t let the YA in the genre field prejudice your decision to read this book. It is completely engaging and full of tension and suspense; it just happens to be primarily narrated by a 17 year old boy.

Danny is 6 years old, deaf, and possesses the ability to commune with the souls of those who have passed on, but not necessarily moved on to ‘the light’.  Michael, his 17 year old brother is thrown into the role of parent, protector and guardian when their parents are kidnapped.  Much of the story is told from Michael’s point of view: his fear and confusion are clearly evident as he absorbs the seriousness of the dangers they face, and the unbelievable abilities of his little brother.

Written with exceptional emotional detail and a strong sense of tension and danger, I was as confused as Michael in trying to determine who would be trustworthy.  The entire story was a series of twists and turns that left me guessing through the last pages, and the imagery attributed to Danny and his explanations of what he can do are detailed and clearly provide a sense of his “old soul” in a little body.  It was not a book I could put down; I read it all in one sitting and will be one that stays in my library for a re-read to see if I missed tiny details that were important to the plot.  It’s an extremely well-crafted read, and tackles the ages-old question of what happens when we die with creativity and a believable premise that is easy to accept and imagine as possible.

Where to buy this book:   Harris Communication  §  Amazon US:   Paperback  §  Kindle
Amazon UK:   Paperback  §    Barnes & Noble:   Paperback  §  Nook

To see more from Elyse, including how to contact her – read more Read more of this post

Review: Kavachi’s Rise: The Devouring, Book 1 by Mike Kearby

 

Thanks for stopping in! Today I am presenting my review of Mike Kearby’s book Kavachi’s Rise, The Devouring #1.  This is the second time I have had this book referenced on my blog: the first was an interview with Mike that you can read here:  Interview

This is a long tour packed with reviews, interviews, excerpts and guest posts – see it all by clicking on the banner above or here at the Tour Schedule   So, let’s get started shall we?

Title: Kavachi’s Rise
Series: The Devouring #1
Author: Mike Kearby
Genre: Damnation Books
Publisher: Horror, Thriller
Paperback/Ebook
Words: 56,000
Purchase: Damnation Books | AmazonB&N
Stars:  4

Book Description:  A Dark Secret. Thomas Morehart and his sister, Kara are vampyre, not the undead, but creatures evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to mimic their prey, man. Then – rescued from a Nazi Prison Camp, Thomas and Kara are brought to the U.S. and forced to work inside government-owned mortuaries. Now -betrayed by the government sixty-seven years later, Thomas and Kara are in a race against time to transform back to their feral states or risk exsanguination by government sanctioned hit squads.

To read my review, and find out more about the author: read more Read more of this post

Review: If I Should Die by Sally Franklin Christie

 

 

Today I’m bringing you one stop on the All Review Tour for If I Should Die by Sally Franklin Christie.   Please be sure to see what other’s have to say about this book by checking out these Tour Stops .

 

Title: If I Should Die
Author: Sally Franklin Christie
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Eternal Press
Paperback/Ebook
Pages: 137
Stars:  4
Purchase:  Amazon (Print) | Kindle | ARe | MobiPocket  |Coffee Time Romance  | B&N | Eternal Press | Books on Board

Book Description:  
Peyton Farley has settled into a new life in southwest Montana.  Research and fact checking for a local newspaper is a perfectly safe job, or is it?  One morning, Peyton awakens and finds a strange man in lace up work boots who is bleeding out on her kitchen floor.  As Peyton calls 911 from her bedroom, someone is stealing the body.

Who is the dead man?  Why is he bleeding to death in Peyton’s apartment?  Can one research assignment evolve into murder, embezzlement, betrayal and silence?

If I Should Die is a suspenseful journey into the lives of many people.  The choices and impacts are repulsive and inspiring.  Silence will never sound the same.

My Review:  I received a copy of this book from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

What a great read with enough twists and turns that make the “who did it” near impossible to detect until near the end.  And even then, there are questions that are not answered until the last page is turned.  Filled with both the best and worst of things people do to and with each other, each person encountered has a hand in the deception; implicitly or unknowingly.  It starts with a dying man on Peyton’s kitchen floor, and quickly moves to a murder scene without a victim when she leaves the room to call for help.

Told in multiple points of view, the one voice that never really clearly shows “why” they behave as they do left me wondering about whether or not there was just random craziness or there was a history of increased distance with reality.  Weaving together multiple story lines with only the unknown dead man in common, the duplicity of his life is mirrored in the dual-story lines that follow his loved ones in two parts of the country.  A successful story with a clever plot,  and even more clever writing that moved the action forward, even while in reminiscence, this is a great first novel from this author.

To find out more about the author, including contact information – read more Read more of this post

Review: The Keeper by Natalie Star

 

Today I am pleased to present a review of The Keeper by Natalie Star.

Title:  The Keeper
Author:  Natalie Star
Format: eBook
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Pages: 231
ISBN:  B006TKEX30
Source:  BTS Virtual Book Tour
Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy / Paranormal, Romance
Stars: 4
Buy Now:   Amazon   §  Barnes & Noble

About the Book:  The morning of her sixteenth birthday, Billie feels blessed despite the reoccurring nightmare that wakes her. Loving parents, a caring boyfriend, and great friends surround her until an heirloom necklace throws her into a world she never imagined.

“Gifted” with supernatural powers and an unexpected destiny as the Keeper, Billie and a mysterious boy from her past must work together to find answers. But, as they begin to discover feelings for one another, he disappears leaving her to fight evil alone. Her life spirals out of control. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Tony, and alienates her best friends Arianna and Jocelyn to protect them from the truth.

As dark forces pursue her, Billie longs to run away from it all, yet a need to do what’s right compels her to face the future as the keeper of more than her own fortune.

See the Book Trailer

 My ReviewI received a copy of this book from BTS Virtual Book Tour for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility. I will say right off that I really liked this book: the premise, the new idea for paranormal, and the character actually maturing and becoming less self-absorbed and smug about her life, as she started to learn and utilize her new powers.  This is an author in the YA market to watch – I do think a younger reader will instantly accept and relate to the pieces that felt more unreasonable to me as one old enough to have YA readers in their house.

The only real piece that I got tired of was with one character’s accent: while it did help to reinforce his tough guy persona, allowing him to step into a protective role midway into the book, I had to keep reminding myself that his speech pattern was different and as much a part of him as curly hair and a straightener was to Billie.

What Natalie Star has done with great effect, is create a new form of a paranormal gift, that unfolds and defines itself as Billie is growing and coming to accept it’s warnings.  Even the one sent to integrate her into her new existence isn’t entirely sure of what she can do, or where this gift will lead.  Such a grand deviation from the “woke up as a werewolf” where you already are aware of what the character’s skills and powers are.  This leads to a delicious sense of discovery and increases the tension as nearly everything could be beneficial or harmful to Billie, and she doesn’t have a way of determining those until her necklace signals a warning.  We all learn together, and the story is paced to allow those quick bursts of realization that are just as surprising to the characters as they are to the reader.

A terrific start for this fledgling author, I can’t wait to see more of what she produces.

About the Author:  

Three years ago, if you told me one day I would love to read and write, I would have told you you were crazy-out-of-your-mind. Since then I have read 150+ books and written 2 complete novels (one of which is being published) and I have 3 more in the works.

When I’m not reading or writing, I can be found with my husband supporting my two children on the soccer fields. Or maybe running around with my camera taking photos while camping and/or hiking. Or lastly, and most probable – I’m watching movies on Netflix while simultaneously perusing Facebook.

Our family resides in the state of Virginia along with our old-unintelligent-diabetic cat named Lucky.

 

Review: Loved In Pieces by Carla J Hanna

There seems to be a recurring theme here: the abundance of YA reads.  I like YA reads, I really do. I would read and share titles when my daughter was younger – and often recommend books to friends with tweens, teens and in-betweens.

Title:  Loved In Pieces
Author:  Carla J. Hanna
Format:  Paperback and eBook
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Pages:  296
ISBN:  978-1479238118
Source:  FreeBooksy
Genre:  Young Adult
Stars:  3
About the Book:  A-list actress, 17-year-old Liana Marie Michael struggles to find herself when Hollywood’s obsession with youth and power threatens to destroy her future. Liana is dating Hollywood’s hottest heartthrob and is on-set filming her seventh motion picture with sexy co-star Byron. Surrounded by a culture of casual sex, drinking and drugs, Liana feels lost and confused. To top it all off, she realizes she may be deeply in love with her childhood best friend, who is NOT a fan of the Hollywood scene. With her film soon to wrap, her acting contracts up for renewal, her high school graduation looming and growing tension between her and Manuel, life feels overwhelming. Will Lia Marie find the courage to share her love for Manuel? In the eternal quest for youth, what life-shattering secrets has Lia’s mom been keeping from her? Can Lia’s wish to live a “normal life” ever come true?   Book Rating: PG-13; Contains: Sex and Swearing

My Review: I received an eBook copy from FreeBooksy Reviews for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility. I like YA, and am always particularly hopeful when reading a book of a younger woman, that she will be a strong character, not easily influenced or led, and most importantly, able to function without ‘needing a man”. I’ve been a reader of YA since I was of the age to read YA. I would often read and discuss books with my daughter when those were her preferred choices.  So, I was prepared for the ‘immaturity’ of the main character, and her excessive vacillation on decisions.

I wanted to really like this book – because it seemed to present a different picture to the over-reported “train wreck” stories of teenage actresses. But, I think that the author tried to incorporate all of the “wrongs” inherent to the price of fame, that the characters were difficult and frustrating to empathize with.  Liana particularly as she frequently mentions her therapist and her stint in rehab; one would expect a little stronger tether to reality and emotions.

Much of her remove is laid off on the pressures of Hollywood, her career, the public’s expectation, her mother’s determination and single-minded attention to ‘career first’.   And sadly, the shell of a girl is as deep as her character went.  And that was unfortunate. Now, I will say that there is a strong appeal for the more faith-minded reader: Liana is quite vocal and judgmental about premarital sex and her wish to be ‘normal, married and have children’. But one can be vocal and believe, without appearing to preach, and that happened far too often for me. I am, however, not a regular reader of more ‘inspirational’ reads.

These are, however, all my own opinions. I think most 14 and 15 year old girls would appreciate the ‘insider’ view, and seeing that someone on the screen has much of the same issues and insecurities that they often have themselves.  Unfortunately, I think that there were some missed opportunities to deal with both Liana’s health issues and her need to ‘be in love’ and thinking that it would solve all of her other problems. It was a good first story, but I would like to see others in this series to be more character focused and less emphasis on the day to day issues dealing with her work.

About the Author: Carla J. Hanna is the author of the Intentions Series coming-of-age novels, including her debut novel Loved In Pieces. A graduate of Colorado State University with a Masters of Arts, she lives in Colorado with her family.

Get it now:

Amazon               Barnes & Noble

Demons & Lullabies:Demon’s Age Book 2, with Review

 

Today I am pleased to present a review and and interview with Kallysten, the author of Demons & Lullabies; Demon’s Age, Book 2..  Find out more about the book, read the review and then meet the author.  In addition, check out the other Tour Stops to see what other people thought about the book.

Title: Demons & Lullabies
Series: Demons Age, Book 2 (Can be read independently)
Author: Kallysten
Genre: Male/Male, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Ebook/Paperback
Words: 107.000 words (321 pages roughly)
Purchase:  Autographed copy | Kallysten.net | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Createspace (Print) Stars:  5

Book Description:  Some little boys want to be firemen or astronauts when they grow up. From the moment Jacob understood what his fathers did, he never wanted to do anything but fight demons.

Andrew, Jacob’s father and a vampire, fights demons because it’s a necessity: few others have the strength or skill to kill the strange creatures that started appearing the very night his son was born. He carries with him some guilt, too, and the suspicion that the magic that made Jacob’s very life possible also opened the way for the demons. The last thing he wants is for his son to ever join this fight and get hurt.

As the years pass, however, and Andrew watches Jacob grow up and grow more determined, he slowly has to accept there’s little he can do to deter his son. It doesn’t help that Nicholas, Jacob’s other dad and Andrew’s Childe, starts giving Jacob sword-fighting lessons under the cover of playing, or that Jacob discovers his mother’s diaries and comes to the same conclusion Andrew did concerning his origins and the demons’.

Through snapshots covering Jacob’s life from birth to adulthood, watch all three members of this unusual family change, grow up, and find their place in the world.

While I always am interested in craft, authors are so much more than just the books they write, and their thoughts are as varied as their characters.  To read my interview with Kallysten, find her contact and website information and see my review, please read more: Read more of this post

Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy, Review

 

 

Today I am pleased to host a Review and Giveaway for Derailed for Alyssa Rose Ivy.  This is my second encounter with this author, and most certainly will not be my last.

Title: Derailed
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Ebook/Paperback
Words: aprox. 55K
Publication Date: September 22, 2012
Stars:  4
Book Description:  When you’re lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home. Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.

Enter to win one of 3 eBook copies of Derailed  by going to Rafflecopter
And please be sure to see what everyone else thinks about this book here: Tour Stops

Please read on to find my review and more About the Author… Read more of this post